The Real Story of Asbestos

More than 4,500 years ago, Finnish potterymakers detected a stone made of thin fibers that mixed really well with the clay theyused to reach pans. This stone was so strong, and hitherto adaptable, that they could use it to make their pots thinner and bigger than ever. Plus, it wassurprisingly resistant to heat, so the flowerpots could support things like hot metal. It seemed like a miracle stone, and eventually, the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all started consuming it, extremely. That rock was what we now call asbestos, andeventually, we found out that it was too good to be true and stopped use it as much.But that take a while. The oath asbestos actually refers to six differentminerals that all have the same habit, or acces that their quartzs thrive. Theyre called asbestiform, which precisely meansthat they develop in long, thin, adaptable fibers. That flexible, plus their strong andresistance to injury by hot and stern compounds, uttered these minerals improbably beneficial in industry.The problem is, breath asbestos fibers can be dangerous. Because to your lungs, those flexible fibersare more like abrupt little shards. You are likely imagine what happens if youbreathe them in: they get stuck in the mucus rowing of your lungs, which can make it difficultto breathe. Inhale too many shards over era, and theycan cause diseases like asbestosis, or disfiguring of the lungs, and mesothelioma, a type oflung cancer. The different forms of asbestos with the highest healthrisks are a part of a group of cliffs called amphiboles, and what performs them motive morehealth concerns than others comes down to four of their chemical and structural properties.First, amphibole fibers are smaller, so theycan travelling deeper into the lungs. Theyre likewise sharper, so they can pierceyour lungs more readily, starting inflammation or developing blemish material. Plus, theyre hydrophobic, or water-avoiding, which can keep them from dissolving in mucus — if they dissolved, they could be coughedup and get out of your method. Eventually, they contain iron, which are capable of reactwith oxygen in your lungs and mar the DNA in your lung cells.The shattered DNA can then clear the cadres todivide too quickly, leading to a tumor. So they may be more carcinogenic, or cancer modelling, as well. So, how did asbestos exit from being the miracle-rockof ancient potters to the scourge of modern industry? Even as far back as the Roman Empire, some2, 000 several years ago, historians wrote about slaves get what they called a sickness ofthe lungs after working in asbestos quarries. And when the first commercial asbestos minesopened in Quebec in 1879, asbestos-related health matters started demonstrating up in medicaljournals and suit reports.One of the first well-studied deaths was in1 924 in the UK. Nellie Kershaw, whod been inventing asbestos into fibre since she was1 3, died at persons under the age of 33 from asbestosis. When Parliament heard about the speciman, theyasked a doctor known as E. R. A. Merewether to investigate the health of asbestos craftsmen. For two years, he studied 374 laborers at anasbestos textile mill. He pointed out that breath asbestos fibers began scarring in the lungs– and 17 out of 20 workers who had been there for more than 20 times culminated up with asbestosis. Merewether presented the working paper to parliamentin 1930, and the UK started involving breathing in asbestos mills a year later. But it wasnt until 2003 that asbestos wasbanned right across the european union. The asbestos industry in the United Statesis a whole other fib. Asbestos was used a lot during World War II, since it was cheap, strong, and resistant to fire and chemicals. Naval war ships usedasbestos separation, and buildings were constructed with asbestos flooring tiles, shingles, plasters, and insularity for pipings. Production of asbestos in the United Statesfinally started to slow down 1979, when nine asbestos producers entered a litigation againstthe federal government.In 1975, theyd paid $69,000 to an asbestosworker who developed asbestosis, and they wanted to be reimbursed. But the government wouldnt have any ofthat. Instead, they proved that the companies knew about, and had been concealing, asbestos-relatedhealth information for decades. The subject was a lot of media attention, andpeople started to try to fix the problem by removing asbestos from structures. But theUS still hasnt wholly banned the use of asbestos. Even so, asbestos wont compel state issuesfor most people. Most of the fibers are so tightly fastened intoanother substance that they won’t flee into the air unless youre trying to remove theasbestos. Plus, every year we each breathe about a millionfibers time from the natural erosion of asbestos-containing cliffs. So unless youre an asbestos laborer whosspent a great deal of years without a ventilation concealment, or youre an ancient Finnish potter, you probably dont have to worry about get an asbestos-related illness. Thanks for watching this occurrence of SciShow, which was brought to you by our patrons on Patreon. If you want to help support thisshow, just go to patreon.com/ scishow.And dont forget to go to youtube.com/ scishowand agree !.

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